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Outrages

By Naomi Wolf
  • ISBN Code: : 9781645020165
  • Publisher : Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Pages : 384
  • Category : Social Science
  • Reads : 992
  • Book Compatibility : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Pdf : outrages.pdf

Book Excerpt :

From New York Times bestselling author Naomi Wolf, Outrages explores the history of state-sponsored censorship and violations of personal freedoms through the inspiring, forgotten history of one writer’s refusal to stay silenced. Newly updated, first North American edition--a paperback original In 1857, Britain codified a new civil divorce law and passed a severe new obscenity law. An 1861 Act of Parliament streamlined the harsh criminalization of sodomy. These and other laws enshrined modern notions of state censorship and validated state intrusion into people’s private lives. In 1861, John Addington Symonds, a twenty-one-year-old student at Oxford who already knew he loved and was attracted to men, hastily wrote out a seeming renunciation of the long love poem he’d written to another young man. Outrages chronicles the struggle and eventual triumph of Symonds—who would become a poet, biographer, and critic—at a time in British history when even private letters that could be interpreted as homoerotic could be used as evidence in trials leading to harsh sentences under British law. Drawing on the work of a range of scholars of censorship and of LGBTQ+ legal history, Wolf depicts how state censorship, and state prosecution of same-sex sexuality, played out—decades before the infamous trial of Oscar Wilde—shadowing the lives of people who risked in new ways scrutiny by the criminal justice system. She shows how legal persecutions of writers, and of men who loved men affected Symonds and his contemporaries, including Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Walter Pater, and the painter Simeon Solomon. All the while, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was illicitly crossing the Atlantic and finding its way into the hands of readers who reveled in the American poet’s celebration of freedom, democracy, and unfettered love. Inspired by Whitman, and despite terrible dangers he faced in doing so, Symonds kept trying, stubbornly, to find

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